962 research outputs found

    Coupling of cytoplasm and adhesion dynamics determines cell polarization and locomotion

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    Observations of single epidermal cells on flat adhesive substrates have revealed two distinct morphological and functional states, namely a non-migrating symmetric unpolarized state and a migrating asymmetric polarized state. These states are characterized by different spatial distributions and dynamics of important biochemical cell components: F-actin and myosin-II form the contractile part of the cytoskeleton, and integrin receptors in the plasma membrane connect F-actin filaments to the substratum. In this way, focal adhesion complexes are assembled, which determine cytoskeletal force transduction and subsequent cell locomotion. So far, physical models have reduced this phenomenon either to gradients in regulatory control molecules or to different mechanics of the actin filament system in different regions of the cell. Here we offer an alternative and self-organizational model incorporating polymerization, pushing and sliding of filaments, as well as formation of adhesion sites and their force dependent kinetics. All these phenomena can be combined into a non-linearly coupled system of hyperbolic, parabolic and elliptic differential equations. Aim of this article is to show how relatively simple relations for the small-scale mechanics and kinetics of participating molecules may reproduce the emergent behavior of polarization and migration on the large-scale cell level.Comment: v2 (updates from proof): add TOC, clarify Fig. 4, fix several typo

    An objective lens for efficient fluorescence detection of single atoms

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    We present the design of a diffraction limited, long working distance monochromatic objective lens for efficient light collection. Consisting of four spherical lenses, it has a numerical aperture of 0.29, an effective focal length of 36 mm and a working distance of 36.5 mm. This inexpensive system allows us to detect 8*10^4 fluorescence photons per second from a single cesium atom stored in a magneto-optical trap.Comment: 3 pages, 3 figures, revtex4, submitted to Review of Scientific Instrument

    Decoherence Models for Discrete-Time Quantum Walks and their Application to Neutral Atom Experiments

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    We discuss decoherence in discrete-time quantum walks in terms of a phenomenological model that distinguishes spin and spatial decoherence. We identify the dominating mechanisms that affect quantum walk experiments realized with neutral atoms walking in an optical lattice. From the measured spatial distributions, we determine with good precision the amount of decoherence per step, which provides a quantitative indication of the quality of our quantum walks. In particular, we find that spin decoherence is the main mechanism responsible for the loss of coherence in our experiment. We also find that the sole observation of ballistic instead of diffusive expansion in position space is not a good indicator for the range of coherent delocalization. We provide further physical insight by distinguishing the effects of short and long time spin dephasing mechanisms. We introduce the concept of coherence length in the discrete-time quantum walk, which quantifies the range of spatial coherences. Unexpectedly, we find that quasi-stationary dephasing does not modify the local properties of the quantum walk, but instead affects spatial coherences. For a visual representation of decoherence phenomena in phase space, we have developed a formalism based on a discrete analogue of the Wigner function. We show that the effects of spin and spatial decoherence differ dramatically in momentum space.Comment: 32 pages, 10 figures, 1 table, replaced fig. 10 in the new versio

    Optical control of single neutral atoms

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    This thesis presents experiments concerning the preparation and manipulation of single neutral atoms in optical traps. The experimental setup as well as the properties of the optical dipole trap are described. The examination and control of all trapping parameters and heating effects is a prerequisite for the future realization of quantum gates. A magneto-optical trap captures and cools down a few cesium atoms. By efficiently detecting their fluorescence, we are able to determine their exact number. They are then transferred without loss into a standing-wave optical dipole trap. The temperature of the atoms in this trap is measured using two methods which are devised to work with small numbers of atoms: By adiabatically lowering the trap depth, an energy-selective loss of atoms is obtained, which yields the energy distribution of the atoms in the trap. Alternatively, the temperature is inferred from the size of the cloud and from the oscillation frequencies of the atoms in the dipole trap. The oscillation frequencies are determined using resonant and parametric excitation. Various intrinsic as well as technical heating mechanisms in the dipole trap are examined experimentally and theoretically. Finally, the setup of a miniature ultra-high finesse optical resonator is presented, which will be used to couple two trapped atoms via the exchange of a photon. The optical resonance frequency of the resonator is successfully stabilized to the atomic transition by an electronic servo loop.Optische Kontrolle einzelner neutraler Atome Die vorliegende Arbeit berichtet √ľber Experimente zur Pr√§parierung und Manipulation einzelner neutraler Atome in optischen Fallen. Der experimentelle Aufbau wird vorgestellt, und die Eigenschaften der optischen Dipolfalle werden beschrieben. F√ľr eine zuk√ľnftige Realisierung von Quantengattern ist die Untersuchung und Kontrolle aller Fallenparameter und Heizmechanismen entscheidende Voraussetzung. Einzelne C√§siumatome werden von einer magneto-optischen Falle eingefangen und gek√ľhlt. Durch eine effiziente Detektion des Fluoreszenzlichtes k√∂nnen wir die genaue Zahl der gefangenen Atome bestimmen. Anschlie√üend werden die Atome verlustfrei in eine optische Stehwellen-Dipolfalle umgeladen. Ihre Temperatur in dieser Falle wird mit zwei Me√üverfahren bestimmt, die speziell dazu entworfen wurden, mit einer sehr geringen Anzahl von Atomen zu funktionieren: Zum einen wird ein energieabh√§ngiger Verlust von Atomen durch ein adiabatisches Absenken der Fallentiefe erreicht und damit die Energieverteilung der Atome in der Falle bestimmt. Zum anderen wird die Temperatur aus der Gr√∂√üe der Atomwolke und den Oszillationsfrequenzen der Atome in der Dipolfalle abgesch√§tzt. Die Oszillationsfrequenzen werden mittels resonanter und parametrischer Anregung bestimmt. Verschiedene fundamentale sowie technische Heizmechanismen in der Dipolfalle werden experimentell und theoretisch untersucht. Schlie√ülich wird der Aufbau eines miniaturisierten optischen Resonators sehr hoher Finesse pr√§sentiert, der sp√§ter verwendet werden soll, um eine kontrollierte Wechselwirkung zwischen zwei gespeicherten Atomen durch den Austausch eines Photons zu erzeugen. Die optische Resonanzfrequenz des Resonators wurde mittels einer elektronischen Regelschleife erfolgreich auf den atomaren √úbergang stabilisiert

    Ideal negative measurements in quantum walks disprove theories based on classical trajectories

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    We report on a stringent test of the non-classicality of the motion of a massive quantum particle, which propagates on a discrete lattice. Measuring temporal correlations of the position of single atoms performing a quantum walk, we observe a 6ŌÉ6\sigma violation of the Leggett-Garg inequality. Our results rigorously excludes (i.e. falsifies) any explanation of quantum transport based on classical, well-defined trajectories. We use so-called ideal negative measurements -- an essential requisite for any genuine Leggett-Garg test -- to acquire information about the atom's position, yet avoiding any direct interaction with it. The interaction-free measurement is based on a novel atom transport system, which allows us to directly probe the absence rather than the presence of atoms at a chosen lattice site. Beyond the fundamental aspect of this test, we demonstrate the application of the Leggett-Garg correlation function as a witness of quantum superposition. We here employ the witness to discriminate different types of walks spanning from merely classical to wholly quantum dynamics.Comment: 10 pages, 4 figure

    Single atoms in a standing-wave dipole trap

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    We trap a single cesium atom in a standing-wave optical dipole trap. Special experimental procedures, designed to work with single atoms, are used to measure the oscillation frequency and the atomic energy distribution in the dipole trap. These methods rely on unambiguously detecting presence or loss of the atom using its resonance fluorescence in the magneto-optical trap.Comment: 8 pages, 7 figures, submitted to Phys. Rev.

    Robustness of topologically protected edge states in quantum walk experiments with neutral atoms

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    Discrete-time quantum walks allow Floquet topological insulator materials to be explored using controllable systems such as ultracold atoms in optical lattices. By numerical simulations, we study the robustness of topologically protected edge states in the presence of decoherence in one- and two-dimensional discrete-time quantum walks. We also develop a simple analytical model quantifying the robustness of these edge states against either spin or spatial dephasing, predicting an exponential decay of the population of topologically protected edge states. Moreover, we present an experimental proposal based on neutral atoms in spin-dependent optical lattices to realize spatial boundaries between distinct topological phases. Our proposal relies on a new scheme to implement spin-dependent discrete shift operations in a two-dimensional optical lattice. We analyze under realistic decoherence conditions the experimental feasibility of observing unidirectional, dissipationless transport of matter waves along boundaries separating distinct topological domains.Comment: 16 pages, 10 figure
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